Shifting Monsoon Patterns

In Context

  • Monsoon rainfall in India has been surplus by around 7% this year though with extreme inequity. 

More about the monsoon review

  • Surplus precipitation:
    • Central and southern India saw a sharp surge in rainfall. 
    • Rains in Central India were surplus by 20% and in southern India by 25%, with the last month seeing several instances of flooding in Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. 
  • Deficit:
    • On the other hand, large parts of U. P., Bihar, Odisha have seen large deficits. The east and northeast of India have reported a 17% shortfall and the northwest 2%. 
  • Impact on agriculture:
    • This has impacted the sowing of the kharif, or summer crop
    • Rice production:
      • Paddy planting has been impacted with sown area 5.51% lower than last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry. 
      • The Centre is expecting a minimum of six-million-tonne shortfall in rice production and this is likely to elevate inflation.
  • Worldwide implications:
    • During the last six months, entire South Asia has been reporting a series of extreme weather events. 
    • While Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have battled severe floods, China is reeling under massive drought conditions.


  • La Nina:
    • These heavy rains are premised on a La Nina, the converse phenomenon of the El Nino.
    • While, El Ninos is linked to reduced rains over India, La Ninas indicate surplus rainfall. 
    • ‘Triple dip’ La Nina:
      • India is seeing an extended spell of the La Nina, called a ‘triple dip’ La Nina which is a phenomenon lasting across three winter seasons in the northern hemisphere. 
    • The retreat of the monsoon:
      • This is only the third time since 1950 that a triple-dip La Nina has been observed. 
      • This, in part, is why for the third year in a row, India is seeing surplus rain in September, a month that usually marks the retreat of the monsoon.
  • Human-induced climate change:
    • It amplifies the impacts of naturally occurring events like La Niña and is increasingly influencing our weather patterns.
    • Extreme El Niño and La Niña events may increase in frequency from about one every 20 years to one every 10 years by the end of the 21st century under aggressive greenhouse gas emission scenarios.
What is the monsoon Onset & withdrawal/retreat?The onset of monsoon:The monsoon is a sea breeze that has consistently landed in the Indian sub-continent for thousands of years. It enters mainland India between the last week of May and the first week of JuneJune 1 is its official onset date over Kerala. The IMD only counts the rainfall between June 1 and September 30 as monsoon rainfall. The retreat of the monsoon:This doesn’t mean that the monsoon system ceases to pour rain over India from October 1. In fact, monsoon-related rain can continue well into the first fortnight of October and only really retreats from India by late October. It is then replaced by the retreating, or northeast monsoon in November which is the key source of rainfall for several parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and north interior Karnataka.More technically, withdrawal is a cessation of rainfall activity over northwest India for five straight days, an anticyclone establishing itself in the lower troposphere and a marked reduction in moisture contentEffects of Monsoon on Indian SubcontinentThe Indian landscape, it’s animal and plant life, its entire agricultural calendar and the life of the people, including their festivities, revolve around this phenomenon.Agriculture & economy:It accounts for 18 percent of India’s growth domestic product (GDP) and employs around half of its total workforce. The monsoon rains are the main source of water for 55 percent of the country’s arable land. This means the rains are crucial — not only for India’s farmers but for its economy as a whole.Rivers:The monsoon brings water and sediment not only to Indian rivers but also to rivers in China, Bangladesh, etc. Festivals:There are numerous traditional fasts and festivals celebrated during the wet season, some of them are Ganga Dussehra, Rath Yatras, Kanwarias, Janmashtami, Barsha Mongol Ramadan and Splash fairs are one of the most important parts of all monsoon festivals.

Way Ahead

  • Slow onsets can still be taken care of through adaptation and resilience ideas but these kinds of big events are very difficult to cope with
    • That is where the main issue lies as the country would then have to divert development money to climate finance to combat climate change.
  • Agriculture:
    • India’s hundreds of millions of rice producers and consumers are being affected negatively by these unprecedented changes which are also raising concerns over food security.
      • Short-term actions & solutions:
        • In UP, the Agriculture Meteorology division has advised carrying out the transplantation of rice and suggested the use of short-duration rice varieties
          • Experts have encouraged the cultivation of red gram.
          • Farmers are also recommended to opt for inter-cropping.
        • For farmers in Jharkhand, the Agrimet has suggested adopting measures to conserve moisture in the soil. 
          • No sowing is advised until there is 50 to 60mm rainfall and sufficient moisture for at least three consecutive days. 
        • Short-duration rice, millet, maize, and arhar.
  • Limiting warming:
    • The current atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are higher than at any time in the last two million years. 
    • To align with a 1.5°C target of limiting warming, global CO2 emissions must reach net zero around 2050, with global GHG emissions reaching net-zero 15-20 years later. 

Operation ‘Megha Chakra’


  • Operation ‘Megha Chakra’ is one of the major CBI-led global operations conducted recently against child pornography.


  • Operation ‘Megha Chakra’ is a Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI’s) rapid response to online child sexual exploitation with international linkages and organised cyber-enabled financial crimes. 
  • Nature: Internationally coordinated operation for crackdowns on online circulation/downloading/transmission of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).
  • Inputs: The CBI acted upon inputs from the Singapore based Crime Against Children (CAC) unit of Interpol, which had received the inputs from New Zealand Police.
  • CBI Action: The CBI raided 59 locations in 21 states and UTs across India and recovered electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops etc. of suspects.
  • The CBI is India’s first law enforcement agency to set up a cyber crime unit.
  • CBI is also the nodal agency for the Interpol.
  • CBI will host the 90th Interpol General Assembly in October 2022
  • It had conducted ‘Operation Carbon’ in 2021 for the similar purpose.

Menace of Child Pornography

  • Definition: 
    • The POCSO Act, 2019 defines Child Pornography as ‘any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child which includes a photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child.
  • Reasons:
    • Curiosity, children and adolescents. 
    • Monetary benefit from the sale of child pornographic material.
    • Pedophilic, hebephilic, ephebophilia tendencies in case of older people or older adolescent with psychiatric disorder of sexual attraction with children of different ages.
    • Sadistic tendencies with pleasure in watching children in pain in the act of molestation.
    • The advancement of digital technology and internet expansion boosted the child pornography market leading to more viewership with easier accessibility, anonymity and affordability of the videos.
  • Impacts of Child Pornography:
    • Psychological: Child porn causes depression, anger, anxiety, mental distress amongst children.  It also impacts their biological clock, work and social relationship.
    • Sexuality: If seen regularly, it gives a sense of sexual gratification and sexual obsession.  Evidence suggests that exposure to pornography can increase the likelihood of an earlier first-time sexual experience.
    • Unsafe sexual health practices such as not using condoms and unsafe anal and vaginal sex.
    • Self-objectification and body surveillance which might reinforce double standards of active male sexuality and passive female receptacle.
    • Sexual addiction: According to some experts, pornography is like an addiction. It produces a similar effect on the brain as produced by consumption of drugs or alcohol on a regular basis.
    • Reproductive Health: 
      • Increasing sexual dysfunction among young men
      • Sexual disorders development in young children.
    • Behavioural: Adolescent pornography use reinforces stronger beliefs in gender stereotypes in males leading to objectification of women.
      • For e.g. Rise in sexual and domestic violence against women during COVID-19 pamdemic.
    • Vulnerability of young children to sexual abuse, cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.
    • COVID-19: As per the online data monitoring website India Child Protection Fund (ICPF), there has been an increase in demand for child pornography by 95% during COVID-19 lockdown as compared to traffic before it.
  • Challenges to Ban Child Pornography:
    • Lack of sex education in the School curriculum.
    • Difficult for agencies to detect the activities of child pornography and monitor them effectively.
    • No Healthy dialogues between children, Parents and teachers  on these subjects.
    • Lack of technical knowledge and expertise in Internet pornography. 

Government Policies & Interventions

  • Laws: There is no law in india to ban watching pornography in personal space.
  • The Supreme Court’s order directed  the Department of Telecommunication to ban several websites containing child pornographic material.
  • The Information Technology (IT) Amendment Act, 2008: Section 67B punishes child pornography, child grooming or exploitation.
  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2019: Penalises 
  • Storage of pornographic material for commercial purposes with imprisonment of 5 years, or a fine, or both. 
  • Failure to destroy, or delete, or report pornographic material involving a child
  • Transmitting, displaying, distributing such material except for the purpose of reporting it.

Way Forward & Suggestions

  • Child pornography is a societal menace harming innocent children, affecting attitudes and behaviour of adolescents and having potential of psychological disorders in adults. 
  • Parents, teachers and caregivers should promote the culture of healthy parenting, foster sex education and importance of consent in relationships.
  • Adolescents should be encouraged to pursue digital media literacy.
  • Children need to be made more aware about bodily autonomy and respect for the opposite gender’s personal space and privacy.
  • Establish links with other agencies and jurisdictions.
  • To know the peculiarities of law and the POCSO court working in resonance with the IT Act.

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

In News

  • Recently, the experts have been talking about the benefits of Neurodiversity in the workplace which can give a competitive edge from increased diversity in skills, ways of thinking, and approaches to problem-solving.

What is Neurodiversity?

  • Meaning:
    • Neurodiversity in the workplace refers to people with neurodivergent conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Definition according to Harvard Health Publish
    • Neurodiversity is a notion that every person interacts and experiences their surroundings differently.
    • There is no right way of thinking, learning, or/and behaving. 
    • These differences should not be construed as defects or disorders. 
Facts/ DataNearly 2 million people in India suffer from this neurological and developmental disorder and are therefore identified as autistic.Study by Deloitte estimates that nearly 20% of the world is neurodiverse.In the U.S: it is estimated that 85% of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed compared with 4.2% of the overall population.

Major Challenges faced by them 

  • Denial in Job
    • It is unjust that even with all the necessary skill sets and degrees, these persons are denied a job because they may react to situations differently from non-neurodiverse persons.
  • Lack of awareness
    • While part of the problem could be lack of awareness about neurodivergent conditions, it is time organisations created a more accommodating environment.
  •  Discrimination
    • The stigmas attached to cognitive disabilities cloud the judgment of existing employees and lead to direct discrimination.
  •  Unsuitable work environment
    • Workplaces are typically designed to suit and benefit neurotypical employees without considering the special needs of neurodiverse people. This hinders the productivity of differently-abled staff members.
  •  The assumption of “one-size-fits-all”
    • Most companies rely on a “one-size-fits-all” mentality regarding neurodiverse employees. However, this approach is ineffective in creating a positive work environment, and it often leads employees to become distressed at work.
  •  Neurodiversity and mental health
    • There is a prevalent misconception that neurodiverse people are mentally “disabled.” In truth, neurodivergent people simply function, learn and process information differently than others.

Importance of hiring Neurodiverse people in the workforce

  • Competitive edge
    • Organisations embracing neurodiversity enjoy a competitive edge in several areas such as efficiency, creativity, and culture.
  • More productive
    • A study by JPMorgan Chase shows that professionals in its ‘Autism at Work’ initiative made fewer errors and were 90% to 140% more productive than neurotypical employees.
  • More efficient
    • Studies have shown that teams with both neurodivergent and neurotypical members are far more efficient than teams that comprise neurotypical employees alone.
  • Handling complex and repetitive tasks
    • Neurodivergent individuals possess excellent attention to detail and an uncanny ability to focus on complex and repetitive tasks over a more extended period than their neurotypical peers.
  • Speed of work
    • A study by the University of Montreal found that in a test involving completing a visual pattern, people on the autism spectrum could finish their task 40% faster than those who were not on the spectrum. 
  • Better reasoning power
    • People with dyslexia have more robust spatial reasoning — they can think about objects in three dimensions and analyse such objects even with limited information.
  • Problem-solving capabilities
    • They are often out-of-the-box thinkers with average or above-average intelligence.

Way Forward

  • There is an urgency to create a work environment that welcomes neurodiverse individuals.
  • Companies such as Deloitte, Microsoft, SAP, JPMorgan Chase, and E&Y have introduced neurodiversity hiring programmes.
    • Indian-origin companies Hatti Kaapi and Lemon Tree Hotels have also included a neurodiverse workforce.
  • Human resources and leadership teams must work together to ensure that the workplace is mindful of and cooperative towards neurodiverse individuals.
  • The process of building an inclusive culture includes customising interviews, ensuring day-to-day assistance for these specially abled individuals, and providing proper infrastructure so that they can perform at their optimal levels.
  • Organisations must not only remove barriers that obstruct the progress of such individuals but also create conducive conditions for them to achieve their true potential.
  • Mentorship programmes can benefit some, while others might require professional training on shared social and communication skills.
  • Neurodivergent friendly offices catering to the employees’ diverse sensory responses can help ensure that these employees are comfortable in office spaces.
  • Companies need to widen their definition of inclusivity by providing higher participation of a neurodiverse workforce.

India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

In News

  • The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is creating a significant positive impact on India-UAE trade.


  • The CEPA agreement came into effect on 1st of May this year. 
  • Exports (Excluding Petroleum Products): 
    • Indian exports to the UAE grew from 5.17 billion dollar from June to August last year to 5.92 billion US dollar during June to August this year. It denotes an increase of 14 percent
    •  India’s global non-petroleum exports during the same period (Jun-Aug 2022) grew by 3% on an annual basis.
    • Indian exports are likely to increase further in the coming months with increasing use of the CEPA by the exporters and with dedicated efforts from the Department of Commerce.
  • Imports: 
    • Indian imports from the UAE during the same period also grew from 5.56 billion dollar to 5.61 billion dollar or an increase of 1% in percentage terms.
  • India’s non-oil export growth of around 14% on year-on-year basis 
  • Growth seen despite Background struggles, like: 
    • Conflict in Ukraine, 
    • COVID-19 related lockdowns in China, 
    • Rising inflationary pressures, 
    • Expected Policy tightening in advanced economies, 
    • Global growth slowdown and 
    • Consequent reduced demand, 
    • Reduction in global merchandise trade (growth slowed down to 3.2% in Q1 2022 vis-a-vis 5.7% in Q4 2021)etc.
  • WTO Forecast: 
    • WTO’s global trade growth forecast for the entire year 2022 was at 3% in April 2022. 
    • This forecast is expected to be revised downwards as the macroeconomic headwinds have worsened since April 2022.
  • Future prediction: 
    • Indian exports are likely to increase further in the coming months with increasing use of the CEPA by the exporters.
  • Why is oil trade not included?
    • Oil trade has not been considered as import increase in oil/petroleum products is largely on account of the rise in global prices and to a certain extent on an increase offtake in volumes. 
    • Bulk of the oil imports from the UAE are of Crude Petroleum, the demand for which is inelastic and the customs duty for which is very low.

India-UAE CEPA Trade Deal

  • The new strategic economic agreement will increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion in five years (2022-27) of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to $15 billion.
  • The Agreement is a comprehensive agreement which will cover:
    • Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin,
    • Trade in Services,
    • Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT),
    • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures,
    • Dispute Settlement,
    • Movement of Natural Persons,
    • Telecom,
    • Customs Procedures,
    • Pharmaceutical products,
    • Government Procurement,
    • IPR, Investment,
    • Digital Trade and Cooperation in other Areas.
  • It will include a digital trade element, which is a first of its kind for both countries.
  • The United Arab Emirates is India’s third largest trading partner and second largest export destination.
    •   The UAE is also the eight largest investor in India with an estimated investment of US$ 18 billion.
  • Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at $43.3 billion in 2020-21.
    • Exports were $16.7 billion, and imports, driven by oil, pushed the balance in favour of the UAE at $26.7 billion in 2020-21.

Significance of the deal

  • Enhanced market access: The agreement will provide significant benefits to Indian and UAE businesses, including enhanced market access and reduced tariffs.
  • The CEPA will boost bilateral trade from the current $60 billion to $100 billion in the next 5 years.
  • India welcomed investment from the Gulf country into Jammu and Kashmir that would open new routes for regional trade and connectivity and advance the collective interests of India, Israel, the UAE and the United States.
  • The deepening of the relationship with the UAE would also help Indian exporters gain access to other West Asian countries, Africa and some parts of Europe.
  • Digital trade: 
    • Early harvest agreement would likely include a chapter on digital trade which would be aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two countries on digital trade in the future.
    • Digital trade is likely to include frameworks on paperless trading, digital payments and online consumer protection, as well as address issues such as intellectual property rights in digital trade, and challenges to small and medium enterprises.
  • The UAE hopes to get enhanced market access in India for its petrochemicals, metals and dates.
  • Indian goods will flow to the other GCC countries as the UAE has no customs barriers.
  • Energy ties: UAE is India’s third largest supplier of crude oil and second largest supplier of LPG and LNG. Renewable energy is the next stop for bilateral energy ties.
  • It may also give a boost to India’s jewellery exports.  
  • It is expected to create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in both nations.

Issues/ Challenges

  • Lack of negotiations:
    • A free trade agreement with the GCC comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain as its members was first envisaged in 2007, but got stuck after a couple of rounds of negotiations.
  • Lacking Global Giant Experience: 
    • Despite being a US $2.5 trillion economy, Indian businesses are small in size. In fact, none of the Indian business giants come close to the big global conglomerates that have the capacity, infrastructure and experience to handle huge investments. 
  • Procedural Issues: 
    • Including lack of planning, lack of complete information, bureaucratic bottlenecks continue to remain a challenge for foreign investors despite significant efforts by the government in this direction to make investments easy and convenient. 
  • Legal Issues:
    • Legal problems have in the past dampened foreign investments from coming to India. For example, the investments from UAE’s Etisalat and Etihad had got stuck in legal problems, thus dampening investor enthusiasm. While checks and regulations are needed, better streamlining of the procedures and processes help in avoiding such problems.
  • Political Will: 
    • There are challenges pertaining to political diversions, especially when an election year is approaching. 
    • India has a tendency to become focused inward and in the process, ignore foreign policy. 
    • The UAE with an appetite for large-scale investments needs to be continuously engaged. 


  • There is tremendous potential and scope CEPA carries toward bolstering Indian businesses. 
  • Also, there are certain areas that India needs to be wary of, for instance the Golden Visa scheme and its marketing as well as its meaning for the education, tourism, hospitality, and IT sectors. 

Democracy within Political Parties

In News

  • The Election Commission is likely to take up the issue of internal democracy within parties.

More about the issue

  • Internal elections:
    • Several political parties today do not insist on conducting internal elections to secure their leadership in India. 
      • Even if they do conduct polls, they lack sufficient contestation and are done to reaffirm the dominance of the high command. 
  • Dictatorial leaderships:
    • The political party in Andhra Pradesh recently elected its Chief Minister as its president for life.
    • From national political parties to regional, in India, the political parties have engendered a parallel system to democracy due to dictatorial modalities of work. 
    • There is a concentration of power in a few in the party while the rest are powerless and forced to follow the powerful ones. 
  • Distribution of tickets, candidate selection & defectors:
    • In the run up to the Lok Sabha 2014 elections, the poor status of intra-party democracy in the distribution of tickets and candidate selection comes to the forefront repeatedly. 
    • Candidates from various parties are switching over to other parties and parties are welcoming such defectors warmly.
  • Causes/Reasons:
    • Disunity:
      • Parties fear that such elections could foster disunity, as opposed to nomination and consensus-building on leadership. 
    • Multi-party systems and Financing structures:
      • The fragmentation of India’s polity into a federalised, multi-party system has given way to domination by “charismatic” individuals or their families.
      • It is mainly because of the nature of support that these parties enjoy or due to their financing structures which necessitates centralised control by a single coterie or a family. 
    • No power with Election commission: 
      • The Election commission does not have any statutory power to enforce internal democracy in parties or to mandate elections. 
      • The lack of such substantive power only leads to parties carrying out the ECI’s edicts in a mechanical manner. 

Significance of internal party democracy

  • Establishment of democracy:
    • It needs to be understood that the growth of a democratic republic comes from the participation of citizens at the grassroots level 
    • It is vital for political parties to establish in-house democracy so that governments will reflect transparency accordingly.
  • The actions of a government are consequences of a political party:
    • The more a political party is methodical under the democratic apparatus, the more transparent the government will be, and if political parties are undemocratic; the governments will follow the same footmark. 

Election commission’s guidelines

  • Representation of the People Act:
    • The ECI has periodically used guidelines issued for registration of parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to remind parties to conduct elections and to ensure that their leadership is renewedchanged or re-elected every five years
  • Party constitution:
    • The EC’s guidelines for parties applying for registration under the Act state that the applicant should submit a copy of the party constitution. 
      • “There should be a specific provision in the Constitution/rules and regulations/memorandum of the party regarding organisational elections at different levels and the periodicity of such elections and terms of office of the office-bearers of the party,” the EC guidelines say.
  • Power of de-registration of political parties:
    • The commission has asked the Law Ministry for the power to deregister political parties in the past, but the proposal has not been implemented so far.
  • No permanent president for a party:
    • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has also recently rejected the idea of a ‘permanent president’ for a party.
      • The ECI says such a step is inherently anti-democratic.

Suggestions & way ahead

  • Transparancy in distributing party tickets:
    • There is a critical urgency to allow political parties to democratize themselves which will reflect the way the government will respond in a republic. 
    • If parties get internal democracy, the process of distributing party tickets will become corruption-free and transparent.
      • In this way the competent candidates will get a chance to fight elections as a true representative of an ideology.
    • Public pressure:
      • With dynasticism and a lack of internal democracy becoming a matter of public debate, perhaps public pressure would finally bear upon parties to do the right thing.
  • Elections:
    • Any party that participates in a democratic process, and wants to govern and legislate, should include formal and periodic election of office-bearers as part of the way it functions as an association. 
    • Election commission should be given more powers to mandate such elections.
  • Example from USA:
    • Republican and democratic parties in the USA elect their party heads for presidential election through a delegate voting within the party.
About Election Commission IndiaIt was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.Its powers, appointment and duties are mentioned in Part XV of the Constitution (Article 324 to Article 329) and the Representation of People Act.It is an autonomous Constitutional body responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, State Legislative Councils and the offices of the President and Vice President of the country.It is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states.For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State Election Commission.

Battery Waste Management Rules 2022

In News

  • The recent Battery Waste Management Rules 2022 notified by the government govern the entire life cycle of batteries, bringing in a holistic approach and a circular economy. 

What is a Circular Economy? 

  • A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources. 
    • The life cycle of products is extended.
  • In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum.
  • Recycled material is always cheaper than the fresh output from the mines
    • That is because the metals present in the black mass, an intermediate product derived after recycling batteries, contain battery-grade material that does not require complex extraction processes with mine output.  

Benefits of circular economy 

  • Measures such as waste prevention, ecodesign and re-use could save companies money while also reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Moving towards a more circular economy could deliver benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving the security of the supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, stimulating innovation, boosting economic growth, and creating jobs. 
  • Consumers will also be provided with more durable and innovative products that will increase the quality of life and save them money in the long term.

Battery Waste Management Rules 2022

  • It aims at placing the producer and importer of batteries at the centre of battery recycling rules with extended producer responsibility (EPR) certificates.
    • The EPR certificates will be generated on a centralised portal managed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • The parameters for the certificates will include the weight of battery processed, percentage fulfilment of material recovery targets for the specified year and geographical source of battery.
  • The current version of battery waste rules cover electric vehicle batteries, as well as portable, automotive and industrial batteries.
    • It builds upon and replaces the Battery (Management and Handling) Rules 2001 to comprehensively address the changing landscape of electric vehicles and advancements in battery technologies.
  • Under the new rules, the producers, including battery importers, will be responsible for collecting and recycling or refurbishing batteries it has introduced into the market.
  • It is outcome-based and can be measurable, if implemented according to their intended design. They define mandatory targets for collection and recycling within a compliance timeframe.
  • An electric two-wheeler manufacturer has to meet a mandatory collection target of 70 percent of batteries placed in the market in 2022-23 and has a seven-year compliance time frame starting 2026-27. 
  • For electric three-wheeler manufacturers, the metre starts earlier in 2021-22, according to their introduction into the market and their compliance cycle starts in 2024-25. 
  • Electric four-wheelers have a longer compliance cycle at 14 years.
  • After processing, producers have to mandatorily use a minimum defined percentage of recycled materials recovered from old waste batteries to produce new ones. 
  • The Rules list out limits and labelling requirements for batteries
    • Labels indicating limits on the use of heavy metals cadmium, mercury and lead and a picture of a crossed-out bin to indicate that the batteries cannot be binned and have to be handed out to a registered battery collector.
Facts/ DataLithium-ion batteries have a very high carbon footprint as they have materials sourced from various parts of the world (South America and Australia for lithium, Congo for cobalt and Indonesia for nickel).  

Major issues with Battery Waste Management Rules 2022

  • It does not provide visibility into the auditing process undertaken for producers, recyclers and refurbishers.
  • The rules miss out on a huge opportunity to enable sustainability standards that have the potential to make India a benchmark for the global battery industry. 
  • The labelling requirements only address lead-acid batteries used in internal combustion engine-driven vehicles. It misses out on requirements for lithium-ion batteries.
  • Lack of information about chemistries would require the recycler to deploy additional resources to investigate the materials present in the spent battery feedstock before they can be processed.
  • The new rules also miss out on using labels as an opportunity to reflect the battery’s carbon footprint.
  • If not implemented correctly, the rules could fail to promote a circular economy and even disrupt the country’s climate mitigation targets.

Suggestions/ Way Forward

  • Electric vehicles will be a key to decarbonising transport.
  • The framed targets are fairly granular in nature and are differentiated by the type of batteries collected (lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium or zinc-based batteries. 
    • Non-compliance will be penalised with an environment compensation charge.
  • The system will deploy a second line of deterrence in which names of defaulting entities will be made public on the CPCB website.
  • Using carbon footprint as a parameter for producer responsibility could trigger research and development of batteries upstream with lower footprint and materials sourced from within the country.

Madam Bhikaji Cama

News :

  • Recently ,the birth anniversary of Madam Bhikaji Cama was celebrated.

Madam Bhikaji Cama

  • About:
    • Bhikaji Rustom Cama, also known as Madam Cama, was a stalwart of the Indian freedom struggle. 
    • She was born on September 24, 1861, to Sorabji Framji Patel and Jaijibai Sorabai Patel. 
  • Life as a Freedom Fighter: 
    • She was an active member of the Indian freedom movement. She propagated the cause of Swaraj among the Indian community in England. In 1907, Madam Cama became the first person to hoist the Indian flag in Germany.   The flag was designed by Bhikaiji Cama and fellow activist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. 
    • Bhikaiji Cama moved to Paris where she founded the Paris Indian Society. Munchershah Burjorji Godrej and S.R. Rana were the co-founders of this society.
    • Bhikaji Cama was one of the bravest women involved in the Indian freedom struggle. She carried out many campaigns in the country and abroad to empower daughters; organised many exhibitions.
    • She was arrested along with Rewabhai Rana while trying to incite Indian troops at Bordeaux on their way to the front. Rana was exiled to the Caribbean while Bikhaiji Cama was sent to Southern France in 1915. 
  • Literary works:
    • She penned, published, and distributed revolutionary works such as ‘Bande Mataram’ and ‘Madan’s Talwar’. 
  • Recognition: 
    • In honour of the late freedom fighter, many Indian cities have streets and places named after her. 
    • On January 26, 1962, India’s 11th Republic Day, the Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department issued a commemorative stamp in her honour.
    •  In 1997, the Indian Coast Guard commissioned a Priyadarshini-class fast patrol vessel ICGS Bhikaji Cama after Bikhaiji Cama.

Swachh Toycathon

In News

  • Recently, MoHUA launched  ‘Swachh Toycathon’, a unique competition to make toys from ‘Waste’.


  • National Action Plan for Toys (NAPT) 2020:
    • About: It was introduced to promote the Indian toy industry including traditional handicrafts and handmade toys with the objective of establishing India as a global Toy hub. 
    • Implementation: Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) along with 14 ministries of the Central Government is currently implementing various aspects of the NAPT.
  • Increasing demand of toys: 
    • Besides being the second largest populated country in the world, India also has a growing young population with half of the total population under 25 years of age. 
    • The demand for toys is also increasing due to strong economic growth, rising disposable incomes, and several innovations for the junior population.
  • Waste increasing: 
    • With ever-changing consumption patterns and rapid rise of e-commerce, the per capita waste generation has steadily increased over the last decade, making waste management in cities a challenge for Urban Local Bodies
  • Swachh Toycathon: 
    • The growing demand for toys on one hand and impacts of solid waste on the other, Swachh Toycathon is a convergence between the NAPT and SBM 2.0.
    • It seeks to explore solutions for use of waste in creation or manufacturing of toys. 
    • The competition will be open to individuals and groups to bring forth innovation in toy designs using dry waste. 
    • It will focus on efficient designs that can be replicated at a larger scale, toys that comply with minimum safety standards, as well as aesthetics of the toys. 
    • This competition is being launched under the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’, a fortnight of activities to galvanize action around Swachhata.
    • Host: The competition will be hosted on MyGov’sInnovate India portal.


In News

  • Recently, Malawi became the first country in southern Africa to eliminate Trachoma.


  • This makes Malawi the fourth country in WHO’s Africa region to achieve this milestone after: 
    • Ghana (June 2018), 
    • Gambia (April 2021) and 
    • Togo (May 2022).


  • About:
    • It is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness and is one of the conditions known as neglected tropical diseases.
    • It is a public health problem in 44 countries and is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people. 
  • Origin and symptoms: 
    • Trachoma starts off as a bacterial infection and can be easily treated. 
    • Overtime, it causes the eyelashes to be pushed inwards into the eye. So with every blink, they brush against the eyeball.
    • This advanced form of trachoma is called trichiasis. Over time, if it’s not treated, trichiasis can lead to blindness.
  • Grows where: 
    • The disease thrives where there are water shortages, poor sanitation and infestations of flies, which are considered physical vectors of the disease.

Path to elimination – Global Trachoma Mapping Project 

  • About: It was launched to map 25 districts suspected of being trachoma-endemic.
  • The mapping survey aimed to: Determine the prevalence of active trachoma (TF) in 1-9-year-old children, and the prevalence of trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in adults aged 15 years and above. 

India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperative Forum (IBSA)

In News 

  • India hosted the 10th Ministerial Commission of Foreign Ministers of the India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperative Forum (IBSA).

India-Brazil-South Africa Trilateral Cooperative Forum (IBSA)

  • About:
    • It is a unique Forum which brings together India, Brazil and South Africa, three large democracies and major economies from three different continents, facing similar challenges. 
    • All three countries are developing, pluralistic, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-religious nations. 
    • The grouping was formalised and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia on 6 June 2003 and issued the Brasilia Declaration. 
    • IBSA exemplifies the spirit of South-South cooperation and The IBSA Fund is a special feature of IBSA collaboration.
  • Cooperation in IBSA:
    • As a forum for consultation and coordination on global and regional political issues, such as, the reform of the global institutions of political and economic governance, WTO/Doha Development Agenda, climate change, terrorism etc.; 
    • Trilateral collaboration on concrete areas/projects, through fourteen working groups and six People-to-People Forums, for the common benefit of three countries; 
    • Third, assisting other developing countries by taking up projects in the latter through IBSA Fund.

Caribbean Community Nations (CARICOM)

In News 

  • India and CARICOM nations have agreed to work together on global issues such as food and energy security and combating climate change.


  • About:
    • It came into being  on 4 July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas
    • It is a grouping of   twenty countries: fifteen Member States  and five  Associate Members. 
    • Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname  and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all  Members and Associate Members are island  states.
    • It is home to  approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30,  and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese,  Portuguese and Javanese. 
  • Pillars of Integration:
  • It promotes and supports a unified Caribbean Community that is inclusive, resilient, competitive; sharing in economic, social and cultural prosperity.


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